The worlds of convertibles and luxury SUVs collide to create one of the wildest variants of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class ever.
Many expected the first SUV built by Mercedes-Maybach would be a more lavish version of the Mercedes-Benz GLS. One might still be in the works, but the brand’s first off-roader is a G-Class-based convertible with Unimog-like ground clearance named G650 Landaulet.
At 210 inches long and 87 inches tall, Maybach’s off-roader comfortably dwarfs the standard Mercedes G-Class. The extra sheet metal between the axles benefits the passengers riding in the back. The bench seat has been sent back to the parts bin and replaced by a pair of individual, leather-upholstered seats borrowed from the S-Class. They can fully recline and provide a massage; it goes without saying that they’re heated and cooled, too.
A switch on the center console opens and closes the glass partition that separates the front and rear compartments. With the partition closed, the rear occupants travel in a private, relaxing space decked out with its own climate control system, aircraft-style tablets, and high-resolution screens. The soft top is operated electronically at the push of a button.
The G650’s engine bay is home to a twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter V12 engine that provides 630 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. An automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels, while portal axles shared with the G63 6×6 provide 17 inches of ground clearance. Maybach’s newest model is as capable off-road as it is luxurious.
The G650 Landaulet isn’t a one-off model commissioned by a rich collector — 99 examples will be built by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria, alongside the regular G-Class. Pricing hasn’t been released yet, but don’t be surprised if it costs $500,000 or more before taxes and options are factored in. Act fast if you want one — odds are at least a handful of examples have already been spoken for.
There’s a reason for the near-decadent level of opulence. The G650 is Mercedes’ unique way of sending off the current 463-series G, which has been in continuous production since 1990. A brand-new model is expected to debut before the end of the year. It will look largely the same as the G we’ve come to know and love, but it will be markedly more modern under the skin.